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RLD trying to grab Opposition space

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 01:36 IST
M Hasan

THE RASHTRIYA Lok Dal (RLD), an ally of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), is in a bind. In a desperate damage-control exercise, the party has now been trying to grab the role of opposition. Hence, the move to attack the State Government of which it has been one of the major partners during the last four years. 

With the party’s Harit Pradesh issue taking a back seat during all these years, the RLD has little to boast of. It also played second fiddle: First to the BJP during the Mayawati’s regime and now to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

After enjoying power, the RLD MLAs are now in a dilemma over continuing alliance with the SP. Since the anti-incumbency has been haunting the coalition government, the RLD could not avoid its adverse effect on the party.

However, party spokesman Anil Dubey said that its base in the western UP was intact. He said the party had done a lot for the welfare of farmers in the State.

Even though RLD chief Ajit Singh made it clear that the alliance with the SP was for the formation of the government, he was still undecided about his future allies. The RLD leaders feel that electoral tie-up with the SP will help the party in the western UP where it had so far been thriving on the Jat-Muslim combination.

But with the Jan Morcha Alliance of former Prime Minister VP Singh and the UP United Democratic Front of Delhi Jama Masjid Imam Ahmad Bukhari making attempts to wean away Muslims, the RLD could face a difficult situation in the ‘Jatland’.

The RLD’s exercise to widen its base beyond the western UP is unlikely to yield positive results. Ajit Singh initially hobnobbed with VP Singh to reach out to the people in Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand but after the ‘Raja of Manda’ launched the JMA with suspended SP MP Raj Babbar as its convener, the Jat leader changed the track.

The party’s relations with the SP have already reached its nadir. Even senior SP leaders are extremely unhappy with the RLD.

Interestingly, the  RLD now wants to join a front which can project Ajit Singh as prospective leader.